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Quotes by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • German poet
  • Born August 28, 1749
  • Died March 22, 1832

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (; German: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] ( listen); 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774).


If a man or woman is born ten years sooner or later, their whole aspect and performance shall be different.




Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.




Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.




Do not give in too much to feelings. A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.




We usually lose today, because there has been a yesterday, and tomorrow is coming.




Everything in the world may be endured except continual prosperity.




I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.




For just when ideas fail, a word comes in to save the situation.




He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.




If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.


Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.




Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.




What is uttered from the heart alone, Will win the hearts of others to your own.




We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.




No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others.




Love does not dominate; it cultivates.




As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.


All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.




Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.




Correction does much, but encouragement does more.




When ideas fail, words come in very handy.




We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.




Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops.




He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm.




Wisdom is found only in truth.




I call architecture frozen music.




All things are only transitory.




A person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise.




There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior.




Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves.



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